Newtown, Pa. (WTXF) - I don’t care if you’re Elvis. You just don’t get the kind of love Ted Qualli got Monday at Newtown Elementary.
Ted didn’t know he was going to be walking into a party Monday, let alone one in his honor.
"Took me completely by surprise, they really snowballed me," Qualli said.
At Newtown Elementary School, a celebration took place to give Ted an award he didn’t realize he’d been earning for decades.
Surprise, Ted, you’re the 2017 Cintas Janitor of the Year.
"I really appreciate it, it means a lot. I can’t believe that the community pulled together like they did, I didn’t realize I had that much effect on people," Qualli explained.
Apparently, he does. I checked in with some of Ms. Owens’ fifth graders, just some of the ones working overtime to tip the scales in Ted’s favor.
"Well, whenever we finished our work we would just go get a Chrome Book and we would like vote as many times as we could. And if we didn’t have anything to do, that’s what we would always do," one student explained.
It’s not the kind of thing that happens for nothing. The kids tell me Ted knows each of them by name, he gives them tomato plants to take home and plant.
They got him good for sure, the old handyman had to wipe away tears a couple of times. He gets five thousand dollars in products for the school, and five grand in cash for himself – which he’s spending on a wheelchair for a relative and a vacation to Cape May. Ted says to him – the whole key is in listening.
Good for Ted. When 800 kids get together to campaign for you , vote for you online, and then chant your name when you win, you’re doing something very right.
I’m Hank and that’s my take.